Re: We ditched consensus
From: Sean Davey (
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 17:34:19 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Diana,
> What a fascinating system.  How long have you been doing this?  Have you
> resolved any particularly difficult decisions this way?  How does it seem
> to be working, both logistically and in terms of community health?
we've been using the new system for 2013, about a half dozen meetings so far. 
We haven't had
any particularly difficult decisions yet. I can only speak for myself but I'd 
say it's working well
so far. Meeting attendance is up and the mood generally seems to be improving. 
We're still
not out of the woods, we got to a pretty bad space, but I'm hearing more 
optimism from some 
people than I've heard in quite a while.
> Is this just for plenary decisions? How does this affect the decision
> making of individual teams?
this is for teams too but I haven't heard if they're actually doing it or how 
it's working. My guess
is they're probably not doing it fully.
> What happens if you have a majority but not super majority?  Doesn't that
> mean that the "minority" effectively won and the result that was less
> popular is the one selected?  (Since to reject a proposal ipso facto means
> accepting the converse of the proposal)
everything seems to be a tradeoff. with plain majority you have the potential 
to have almost half of the
people unhappy. with super majority you can have a majority unhappy sometimes 
but normally, if
you do a reasonable job of trying to resolve concerns, the idea is that less 
people will be unhappy.
a proposal not passing doesn't mean a minority "won" because the proposal may 
have only be of
interest to a minority in the first place. in that case not getting a super 
majority of yes votes actually
means that the minority didn't "win".
> The idea of the automated agenda is revolutionary!
the goal behind it is to increase democratization of decision making and help 
people feel
more involved and less removed from the process.

> On Thursday, September 12, 2013, Sean Davey wrote:
> >
> > just a minor correction, our new system uses super majority voting, 2/3
> > yes votes are required to pass.
> > We use the same process that we used before for working on a decision:
> > 1) answer clarifying questions, 2) collect concerns, 3) group concerns, 4)
> > attempt to resolve concerns.
> > We've also automated agenda building online: proposals can be submitted by
> > anyone, once 12 people
> > agree to discuss an issue it is moved to a list of agenda items, everyone
> > can prioritize agenda items
> > and for each meeting the agenda is automatically generated based on
> > everyone's priority ranking.
> >
> > if you asked each person in our community why consensus wasn't working,
> > you'd get a different answer
> > from each person. (not everyone thought it wasn't working, a small number
> > wanted to stay with it)
> > for me, a lot of what we were experiencing is covered in Diana Leafe
> > Christian's article:
> >
> >
> >
> > sean, sonora cohousing

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